Effective Daily Huddles

One of our own company goals for this quarter is implementing effective daily huddles as part of our Lean/Agile initiatives. Since daily huddles are valuable to any company (whether you use Connectwise or not, or Kanban or not), I thought I would share my research and what I’ve learned.

See attached (or click here for higher res) for a picture I took on Friday of our own team meeting around our CW Kanban on a large screen LCD monitor. We are seeing some great early results and have a lot more planned!

I found this article on how to run a kick ass daily standup. (Funnily enough –  everyone is sitting in their picture….) Here is my summary of the key DOs and DON’Ts:

DO:

  • Have a clear purpose: improve communication and project/service flow
  • Have dedicated time (we meet daily at 9:29am), space, and equipment. We use a Polycom speakerphone and 65″ LCD monitor, and are working on adding Zoom conferencing with wide angle webcam.
  • Have a good quarterback
  • Use visual aids to help with workflow, prioritization and accountability
  • Focus on the critical path to optimal flow, and how to optimize the bottlenecks and constraints
  • Reprioritize work loads
  • Huddle 3-5 times per week
  • Start and end on time

DON’T:

  • Waste precious time gettting remote people dialed in, people out of other meetings etc.
  • Have in-depth technical conversations
  • Simply do a status update “I did X yesterday and plan to do Y today”
  • Use out of date information. If using a physical or digital Kanban board, make sure it is always accurate and realtime
  • Ignore early warning signs that people’s time is being wasted
  • Micromanage the huddles… the team is supposed to own and run them!

Of course there are many other ways to run awesome daily huddles… check out https://martinfowler.com/articles/itsNotJustStandingUp.html for some more detail on the thought processes and pscyhology of what works and doesn’t work.

I would love to learn what you’ve done to improve the effectiveness (not just being more efficient) of daily huddles, or something you plan to do soon.

Hope this was useful, let me know if not, or it was…

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